Wednesday, May 10, 2006

gifts

think of a person in your life who gave you a new idea--large or small--that you really cherish and remember. what is that idea? why does it stay with you? how has it changed your thinking?

father lancelot--when i thanked him for paying for the meal, he said i was making too much over the money, and thanked me instead for my company and conversation.

another nugget i gained from him was when he urged me to keep my heart's garden free of the weeds of anger and resentment.

sharon gave me an interesting idea once: i was complaining about arrogance, and she suggested that some people who are truly brilliant have a right to be a little bit arrogant, and it's not as obnoxious as stupid people who are arrogant. i'm not sure about this, but...

anson's blog is titled Hopeful Expectation. i like the sentiment expressed in his choice of title. especially since i know it's a meaningful choice.

one of mike's pet points is right vs. good. it took him a while, but i think i finally get it. it's influenced the way i talk. i choose my words differently now.

diditi chose to remain friends with me after a really awkward, bizarre confrontation. it brought our friendship to a whole new level.

once, michelle told me that i have a problem with honesty. i really appreciated her being able to tell me that. in that moment, she established herself as a friend of worth.

dad told me once that i should marry someone that i respect. i remember exactly where we were when he said that to me. (driving into bridgeport, just before you cross the railroad tracks.)

mom was a real mommy to me. i'll always have that. she gave me her time and these moments were filled with love. this is truly a gift.

there are many, many more. what gifts do you carry in your pockets?

6 comments:

webber said...

You drew my attention to trees, not so much a thought but a feeling from which some cool thoughts, a dream and a poem have sprung. You are in my favourites:)

brian said...

Arrogance is a belief in, and display through behavior of, one's superiority over others.

I have always felt this is distasteful, pretentious, and a character flaw.

One thing I have carried with me from Christianity is its sense of democracy. That we are all of equal value.

If I truly have good character, I will see others for their inherent value, and not their disease, or poverty, or ignorance.

It makes me angry to see someone treat another with superiority and condescension.

fog said...

thanks, webber...i would love to hear the thoughts & the poem...

brian, i agree with you. i spoke to sharon about it again. i think she is speaking of confidence--a confidence that is 'proportional' (or a word like that) to the abilities one has. if the pride/arrogance/confidence is disproportionate, then perhaps is when it is ugly or distasteful?

i think this might be a question of semantics. at any rate, i could see her point that sometimes a person is highly intelligent and as a result confident in their own abilities to the point of being arrogant.

part of the definition says:
1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

if you emphasize "overbearing" then perhaps one could make a point that there IS a legitimate level of sense of self-worth.

however, there's the quote attributed to einstein:

"The wiser you are, the more you believe in equality, because the difference between the least and the most learned is inexpressibly trivial to all that is unknown."

Wikkid Person said...

Odd, Brian, because I bring from my Christian upbringing an inability to accept my own worth and the worth of others, having been raised that all nonChristians were alcoholic, lying fornicators, and then met enough Christians that are alcoholic, lying fornicators, adulterers and thieves that I don't tend to have much "faith" in humanity.

brian said...

There is certainly that element to this equation, Mike. I know what you mean. How many times can a person sing, "I am a worm, O Lord..." and not be damaged by it?

But there is a rebellious spark in me that always fought that, though I am not unscathed.

I have tried my best to keep characteristics from my upbringing I think are valuable, and to otherwise change the reference point of my worldview.

This issue of self-worth, in relation to your comment, Paula, it is an on and off struggle for me to have confidence. My sense of self-confidence is not stable or reliable. Some things will spark confidence, others will deflate it. Or I go through periods of confidence, and so on. I certainly would like to stabilize.

But I do have a grounded sense that however imperfect humanity is, we are not essentially or basically bad, and certainly not "sinners."

Maybe I, internally, have a different reference point that I had to find, but it is natural to me. I am grateful for it.

fog said...

some of us have struggled with self-worth, and thus find the idea of confidence, or even arrogance, something that has *some* appeal in it. not in a bad way, but as a balance to our normal levels of self-doubt.

i think this might be why sharon defended arrogance.

i think that a person who is naturally very confident might need to make a similar exercise of appreciating questioning themselves.